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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

CBI pins assets case on Vardhan

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has slapped another case of disproportionate assets against Indian Revenue Service officer Anurag Vardhan who was arrested in May in the transfer-for-cash scam, reports our special correspondent.

Sources said during the course of investigation in the original case, when sleuths recovered Rs 3.05 crore from the possession of former minister of state for finance Gingee Ramachandran’s personal assistant R. Perumalswamy outside the IRS officer’s south Delhi residence, they got leads that he had allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Vardhan, the CBI had alleged, gave the cash to Perumalswamy for a favourable posting to Mumbai. Ramachandran was forced to quit following allegations that his office was accepting bribe to give favourable postings to customs and revenue officers. The CBI alleged that Vardhan could not explain the source of over Rs 9-lakh assets disproportionate in nature.

To calculate the disproportionate assets, the sleuths have taken into account the items he purchased for his house, his bank balance and other investments, besides frequent travel. The investments have been compared with his income, the primary source of which is his salary drawn as a 1984-batch IRS officer.

Investigations by the CBI have revealed that Vardhan had items in his south Delhi house worth Rs 3.25 lakh while he had a bank balance of Rs 1 lakh and other investments to the tune of Rs 15 lakh.

It is alleged that he had spent over Rs 6 lakh on air travel, credit card and mobile phone bills.

Home ministry staff in bribe net

New Delhi: The CBI has registered a case against two officials of the Union home ministry’s freedom fighter cell on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a complainant, reports our special correspondent.

The arrested have been identified as assistant Harbhajan Das and upper division clerk Vijay Chaudhary. The complainant, a resident of Warangal district in Andhra Pradesh, said he had come to Delhi to get his pension cleared, which was pending since 1997.

He was allegedly approached by the accused in their office at Lok Nayak Bhavan in South Delhi and asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5,000 to get the amount released. The duo apparently gave their mobile numbers in case he wanted to get in touch with them. The complainant reported the matter to a senior officer of the cell who, in turn, directed him to the CBI.

Police teargas protesters

Vadodara (PTI): Police resorted to lathicharge and burst teargas shells on Saturday to disperse workers protesting the non-payment of wages in Gajrawadi locality of the city, where a sewage treatment plant was to be inaugurated by chief minister Narendra Modi.

The workers shouted slogans and demanded payment from their employers, police sources said. When they defied instructions to disperse the police lathicharged and lobbed four teargas shells. They also arrested 10 people.

House joint session

New Delhi: The Congress and the BJP are ready to hold a joint session of Parliament to commemorate 10 years of panchayati raj, reports our special correspondent. The session will allow members to discuss how successful “democracy at the grassroots” has been and propose amendments, if required, to the Panchayati Raj Act.

Murder in shrine

Hoshiarpur (PTI): The son of a granthi of Gurdwara Sant Baba Prem Singh died on the spot when miscreants hit him on the head with a wooden block while he was sleeping in the shrine complex on Friday. Police sources said, after killing Lakhwinder Singh, the assailants broke open the cash box and almirah of the gurdwara. They could not steal money as the cash box had been emptied earlier by the gurdwara management.

Convict’s drug slur

Salem (PTI): A life convict in the central prison here, who attempted to commit suicide, created sensation on Saturday by complaining that a prison warden asked him to keep 250 gm of ganja and also distribute it to other inmates. Salem police commissioner (city) Sunil Kumar said Thayappan, who is in the prison from October 12, 1997, was admitted to a hospital on Friday after he attempted to commit suicide by consuming glass pieces.

Fire in high court

Calcutta: A fire broke out at one of the spiral staircases of Calcutta High Court on Saturday afternoon. The fire started from a pile of waste papers, at the staircase between the first and second floors, police said. Three fire engines brought the fire under control in a short time.


In a rare coincidence, all 400 girls who turned up to take a Public Service Commission job test at a school in Kollam had the same name — Saritha. Most of the girls were also from the neighbouring Thiruvananthapuram district.

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